By Marisa Filippo
This 13-track LP is massive. The powerful vocals from lead singer, Ritzy Bryan mixed with the beautiful instrumentation makes for a perfect album. The way Hitch was orchestrated makes the listener want to leave the album on repeat. The blend between instruments was done creatively and impeccably. There are instrumental breaks on a few of the tracks where it’s obvious as to how much time and effort went into the making of this masterpiece.
The first single, “The Last Thing On My Mind” reflects on a topic that is sensitive to many but reveals truth in so many ways. It is an important message to today’s society. It discusses the female gaze compared to the male gaze in the media’s representation of sexuality. Ritzy states, “The male gaze is well represented, we see plenty of female nudity, statistically more than men, we see men in positions of power with scantily clad women, and we see female protagonists mirroring that power dynamic with overt sexual aggression.”
And their music video for “The Last Thing On My Mind” represents exactly this. It showcases the female gaze. “The video follows a voyeuristic heterosexual female gaze watching men in all forms, free, relaxed, sexy and objectified.” It is NSFW and it speaks truth. It visualizes truth. She concludes that the band believes “that there just isn’t enough diversity in music videos when it comes to sexual representation.”
Watch their music video for “The Last Thing On My Mind” here:
In most cases, a track on any given album averages to about three or four minutes, rarely does it ever go beyond that, or even below. Meanwhile, almost every track on Hitch goes beyond those marks. Each track averages approximately five to six minutes, with some approaching seven and one track approaching eight. I have to admit that some tracks felt like they were never-ending, but they truly were epic.
The album opener “A Second in White” sounded like a lengthy intro rather than a full, proper track. There was no big chorus or many beat changeups to be found. However, the second track “Radio of Lips” is the total opposite – huge sounds, karaoke-type chorus, head banging, everything one might expect from the band.
There are a couple of ballads featured on Hitch, which are extremely well done, but again, were a little lengthy. This includes “The Gift” and “Underneath the Petal.” Also, there are some songs that start out dark and mysterious then morph into a big and emotional wave of noise that comes come crashing in. This is especially true for the album closer “Don’t Let Me Know” which extends to the almost eight-minute track.
Finding their sound and place in the industry was their focus when creating Hitch. Ritzy says, “There was a deep longing towards the end of the last touring cycle; kind of a nostalgia and a romance about going home. We were chasing a sense of belonging. I don’t necessarily think you need too much of that in life, either – I’m quite happy feeling like things are constantly fucking changing – but as you get a little bit older, you start thinking about what you’ve missed back home, and the melancholy that comes from that was important on this album.”
The Joy Formidable is an alternative band with a rock vibe. You must find the time to listen to Hitch if you’re into those genres, love big sounds, and of course, enjoy lengthy songs.
If you want to hear this masterpiece of an album live, then be sure to check them out on June 15 at the Mod Club in Toronto as part of NXNE.